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Thread: Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

    I was thinking of redoing the garage and wanted to really light it well. I was wondering what was the most efficent, light for watt: fluorecent, metal halide or sodium vapor?

    Thanks,

    -john

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    Flashaholic* Chris M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

    The absolute most efficient light source is the deep yellow/orange Low Pressure Sodium. HPS and Halide come next (one is a bit better than the other, I forget which) and flourescent last.

    But:
    Low pressure sodium is highly monochromatic. Everything looks kinda like the Torch Reviews site, ie, orange and brown [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] , no other colours to speak of. And it can take 8-9 minutes to run up.
    High pressure sodium does better on the colour side and the run-up side, but it is still predominantly orange ("Golden White") and takes about 4-5 minutes to run up.
    Halide lighting runs up in a similar time to high pressure sodium. The colour can be pretty good, usually a colder white but some are avaliable in warmer tones. It is the most expensive, or at least, used to be.
    Hot cathode flourescent lighting can be obtained in almost any colour-temperature including pure daylight white, runs up virtually in seconds (though can take a minute or 2 to hit its peak) and is the cheapest and most avaliable of them all.

    So, it`s up to you. The deciding factor would be whether you need instant illumination or not. If you do, you have no choice. If not, then decide whether you need full colour rendering or just to be able to see where stuff is.

    [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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    Default Re: Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

    Anyone remember Sulphur Microwave lamp? Those that 2 or 3 can light up an entire warehouse.... not suitable for garage use though... 180 + lumens / watt. And there's always dangerous microwave to deal with.

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    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

    Well, I want good light. Don't care about instant on. Thought I'd see what was most energy efficent of those choices. Sounds like metal halide might be the way to go.

    -john

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    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

    I don't currently have any lights in there -- it was built w/o electricity. I want a LOT of light so I'm worried about how many fluorescents I would need to accomplish this. I was thinking I could use significantly less fixtures going HID and still get the light. Hmm?

    -john

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    Flashaholic* rlhess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

    John,

    I see HIDs used as work lights in TV studios with 20-30' ceilings. It all depends what you want to do in there. I would think running two tubes in utility reflectors down the length of the garage would cover you.

    For the length of the run, I'd put these lights end-to-end with approximately one to two foot spaces between them.

    Sideways, I'd place them on 12 foot centers or so.

    It could be designed. You probably want to check out the photometrics of the fixtures to do the design. It's not rocket science <smile>.

    HIDs could work, too, but need to be designed.

    I can't think off the top of my head of all the choices, but one of the largest lighting companies is http://www.genlytethomas.com/

    Good luck!

    Richard

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    Flashaholic* rlhess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

    John,

    Unless you spend a huge amount of time in the garage (like it's your workplace/office) I'd think that you'd be best off with standard fluorescents as the lamps are easy to get, the light is diffuse, and you can adjust the color and color-rendering-index on an as-needed basis.

    There are metal halides that you see in department stores, but I suspect that relamping and initial costs are higher (although energy usage is lower).

    Where I think LPS excels is in outdoor lighting--and you might want to consider this if your garage is a separate building. I lived with some spare land around me in a smaller town about 22 years ago. There had been some minor vandalism--people stealing a flag from my flag pole, wandering through the property, etc...

    Well, I installed one LPS fixture on three of the four sides of my house. There wasn't any place to hide and the light went on forever. About 60W of LPS (including the ballast IIRC, I think the lamp was 35W) gave me the equivalent illumination (albeit in one color band) of about 4-6 150W PAR reflector floods.

    I used an astronomical timer (egad, the dark ages) to turn them on and off.

    I especially LIKED the effect on new-fallen snow. Some people complained about the "orange color" while I said "I prefer to think of it as gold--as in the color of the gold I'm saving by using these instead of other light sources."

    Cheers,

    Richard

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    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Efficency? Fluorescent vs metal halide vs sodium vapor?

    montemag Your thread moved here - Norm

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